Going outside and and shooting high quality footage for your videos is one of the most laborious aspects of content creation. Recording great footage is expensive, time consuming, and often dependent on factors that are out of our control. Current weather conditions, proper camera settings, lighting, and so much more must be just right to get that perfect shot.
Free stock video provides a great alternative to shooting everything yourself and unlocks incredible footage that would be impossible to gather on your own. Let's face it, you're probably not getting that drone shot 100-feet above Hollywood Boulevard any other way. Online stock video libraries put a massive catalogue of clips from around the world at your fingertips and allow you to dive straight into your video edits without any blockers.
There are plenty of options for finding free stock video online and we've put together this guide to help you get the footage you need as fast as possible. We've also included a tutorial on how to use stock video in your projects on Kapwing.
Where to Find Free Stock Video Online
There are plenty of websites that claim to offer free stock video, but redirect you to videos that cost sometimes hundreds of dollars to download and use. We looked over a number of free stock video libraries and chose ones that not only offer videos for free, but that also let you download those videos without creating an account.
To incorporate stock video into your website, open the Kapwing Video Editor and click the "Plugins" tab. Here, you can access stock videos from Pexels and Pixabay. Search for stock videos to import them into Kapwing. Here, you can trim, add text, combine video clips, make collages, add background music and more.
Pexels is a free stock video and photo site powered entirely by creators who upload their own work. It's also my favorite stock video site on this list. All of the videos and photos found on Pexels can be downloaded for free and operate under one simple license that gives you a lot of freedom with your content.
The Pexels license allows creators to use any image or video from the site for promotional purposes and without credit to the original photographer (it's nice to give credit when possible though). Free stock videos and images from the library can be used on websites, apps, social media, and print materials.
I was impressed by the range of free video available on Pexels. It can be difficult to find exactly what you're looking for when limiting your search to free content, but Pixels found clips that served even more complex searches like "Instagram" and "VR". The site also offers a lot of great options for both vertical and widescreen videos.
Pixabay is a free stock video website that also hosts stock illustrations, music, and vectors. The website features a wealth of free video content available to download without ever signing in, but also links to other paid stock video sites using sponsored links. I found it frustrating how the site groups sponsored stock videos at the top of every search, as I often clicked these videos by mistake thinking they were part of my results.
The license on Pixabay videos is fairly boilerplate and allows for open usage in advertisements, on the web, and across social media. In my experience on the site, generic search terms (city scenes, nature landscapes, outdoor activities) all yielded better stock videos than the more specific terms I tried on Pexels.
The site also turned up a surprising number of stock video animations, video intros, and green screen effects that could come in handy for editors.
How to Use Free Stock Videos
Find the perfect stock video for your next creative project? Kapwing's Studio Editor makes it easy to add music, insert text into the video, or splice it into the middle of another video. Here's how to get started using free stock videos on Kapwing:
- Upload a stock video in Kapwing Studio
- Add additional edits and elements to the stock video
- Export and share your video
Step 1. Upload a stock video in Kapwing Studio
Once you've found and downloaded the perfect free stock video, you'll need to bring it into Kapwing to start editing. Head over to Kapwing's Studio Editor and start a new project.
You can search for stock video in the Kapwing Plugins library. Alternatively, drag and drop the stock video file right into the editor or click to upload and navigate to where you saved the file on your device. Your video should upload in just a few seconds and be ready for instant editing.
Step 2. Add Additional Edits and elements to the stock video
When your video is uploaded and ready for edits, you can really start transforming the stock video into something personal and unique. Stock video can be used to represent anything and it's your job to decide how this nondescript footage fits into the story you're trying to tell. Inside the studio you can overlay text, add jump cuts, or even record a voice over.
If you're working with multiple stock videos, you can click the Add Scene button to insert a second clip and then edit which order each scene appears in your final video.
Step 3. Export and Share Your Video
When your stock video is touched up and mixed into your project it's time to export and share your project with the world. Click the red Export button in the top right of the screen to start processing the final video.
At this point, you can kick back and take a break until Kapwing finishes rendering and exporting your work. Your video will be available with no watermark as long as you are signed into your free Kapwing account. When your video is done processing you can instantly download it, embed the video on your website, or use the social media buttons to share to Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.
We'd love to learn more about how you're using stock videos or where to find the best free stock videos online. Please reach out to us at @KapwingApp on Twitter or Instagram to show us the videos and projects you're making. We may even feature one in an upcoming post.